Sunday, April 25, 2010

Gazprom and Austria Doing a Pipeline Deal

VIENNA, April 24 (Xinhua) -- Austria and Russia on Saturday signed a cooperation agreement on a proposed natural gas pipeline project known as the South Stream.
The deal will expand Russia's capability to supply more natural gas to the European Union through the planned 3,700-kilometer pipeline.
The cooperation agreement will allow Russia to meander the pipeline into Austria before turning west into Bulgaria, Turkey and Italy.
Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko and Austrian Economy Minister Reinhold Mitterlehner signed the agreement during a ceremony witnessed by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann.
Austria has been a supporter of the Nabucco natural gas pipeline, which has been deemed as a competing route against the South Stream.
The Nabucco pipeline, planned by the United States and the European Union, is to measure 3,300 km.
Both the South Stream and Nabucco pipelines have bypassed Ukraine, which has been causing supply difficulties to EU countries due to its price disputes with Russia.
The South Stream was expected to completed in 2015 at an estimated cost of 20 billion U.S. dollars while the Nabucco pipeline also is to be finished in the same year at a cost of 12.3 billion dollars.
Russia supplies Austria with about 70 percent of its natural gas needs and provides all of Europe with about 20 percent of its requirements.

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